Today, informal and formal groups develop different types of links between citizens and the state, and so between the local and the global and vice versa (IPhone, tablet, social networks I, etc.) See the diagram below.

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These groups create content as well as speak out ; both encourage the emergence of opinions. These groups are beginning to have political impact and clout because of the opinions and pressures they generate (these opinions are very emotions-based ; it is the beginning of the disappearance of the elderly silent generation).

The silent majority is less and less silent.

This phenomenon of people speaking out is cultural ; it depends on the age, education, wealth and technophobia of each person. Not everyone participates in the same ways :

The silent citizen (35%)

Usually happy, because they are anonymous and passive ; they want to live « in peace ». Because they are often older (Boomers), many feel lost to the keyboarders because they are more or less digitally illiterate (as well as often technophobic). However, they like talking to friends and renewing kinship. They are reactive communicators.

The trendy citizen (55%)

These people are proactive. They compare prices, read books or newspapers on a tablet and work in offices on a computer : they are information workers. They readily express contentment or disappointment on Facebook or Twitter, seek fellow LinkedIn members and enjoy writing and sharing opinions. They want to be aware and pride themselves on being in-the-know.

The cultural mediator (5%)

They refer people, supervise and guide people in networking activity. They act as facilitators for sense-making and building bridges.

The facilitator (3%)

A multiplier of the connections, influence and impacts contained in the associated groups, a pillar of those networks.

Expert citizen (2%)

Because verified knowledge is applied to activities of its environment, content supported by experts is recognized as relevant.

Citizen facilitation tools

The proposed placement and use of an application in a district must meet several rules :

  • channel human, financial, organizational and information resources via an uplink strategy (bottom-up) ;
  • mobilize all local stakeholders through facilitation tools and processes ;
  • establish short-term actions, however, based on long-term strategies so as to result in a form of popular education.